Swiss-French photographer Sabine Weiss dies at 97

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Weiss described herself as a 'craftswoman of photography' (AFP/Loic VENANCE)

Swiss-French photographer Sabine Weiss, who chronicled social change in her pictures for nearly eight decades, has died aged 97 in her Paris home, her family said Wednesday.

Weiss was the last of the French humanist photography school that included Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis and Brassai.

A pioneer of what later became known as street photography, Weiss captured the condition of ordinary people, often outdoors, in a body of work that has been shown in major retrospectives around the world.

She was also in high demand as a portrait photographer of artists, including composers Benjamin Britten and Igor Stravinsky, renowned cellist Pablo Casals and French painter Fernand Leger.

"From the start I had to make a living from photography, it wasn't something artistic," Weiss told AFP in an interview in 2014, adding that she started taking pictures in 1942.

"It was a craft, I was a craftswoman of photography," she said.

Weiss was born in Switzerland and moved to Paris in 1946, and she later became a French citizen.

Her work is shown in permanent collections of several leading museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

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